Posts Tagged ‘COPD’

COPD and Diet: Managing COPD Symptoms Through Food

November 28th, 2017

COPD and DietAs reported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an approximated 12 million adults are currently diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and it’s also expected that another 12 million could be living with the disease and not even know it. It’s also worth noting that COPD typically occurs in middle age, with smoking as the main risk factor. Consistent exposure to occupational dusts and chemicals also presents a high risk factor.

If you have been diagnosed with COPD, living healthier can make a difference in the severity of symptoms. As a matter of fact, eating a healthier diet can make those with COPD feel better, enhance vital energy needed for breathing, as well as fight chest infections.

Follow these tips for COPD and diet to help manage symptoms:

  • Eat your breakfast. For those with COPD, breathing burns ten times more calories than it does for a person without COPD, so commencing your day with a healthy breakfast can give you the calories and nutrients you must have for the day.
  • Consume more potassium. COPD patients on diuretics tend to have a need for more potassium. Try oranges, bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes to get the healthy potassium you need.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but hold the caffeine. Liquids help keep mucus in the breathing passages thin and less difficult to clear. But caffeine can conflict with some medicines and may trigger restlessness, so it’s best to stick to non-caffeinated liquids.
  • Stay away from gas-inducing foods. Foods like beans, carbonated beverages, and fried foods that lead to gas and bloating may make it difficult to breathe. Try to avoid these kinds of foods to stave off COPD symptom flare-ups.
  • Sodium can contribute to water retention, which makes it tougher to breathe, so it’s best to avoid foods that have greater than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. Salt-free spices such as garlic, oregano, basil, curry, onion, parsley, rosemary and lemon juice are all good alternate possibilities.

Visiting Angels is skilled in working with COPD patients and their family caregivers to manage symptoms and verify that the home is safe and free from irritants. Our San Jose area home health care helps patients manage COPD through education, exercise, nutritional support, psychological support and coping skills. Call Visiting Angels today at 408-610-9996 or contact us online to learn more about managing COPD symptoms. Serving San Jose and the surrounding areas, we’re here to partner with you to improve quality of life for your senior loved one!

Living with COPD: Top Ways to Improve Life at Home

November 14th, 2017

Living with COPDIf you find yourself caring for a family member living with COPD, you probably understand that outdoor air irritants can worsen symptoms. However, did you know that bad air quality in the home can also be concerning? Purifying the air in the home can help everyone breathe easier and be more comfortable.

Keep the following home air purifying tips in mind:

  • No Smoking! Be sure not to smoke or allow others to smoke in the older person’s home. If there is a fireplace or wood stove in the home, be advised that it can also be a source of irritation for someone with COPD.
  • Reduce Exposure to Chemicals. Household chemicals such as paint and cleaning products can magnify COPD symptoms, so decrease the use of strong chemicals and ensure that lids remain on cleaning products while not in use. Additionally, there are healthier cleaning options like baking soda and vinegar that can be used instead.
  • Minimize the Dust. Wash bed linens weekly, clear away clutter, and keep pets off furniture to help minimize dust.
  • Filter Your Air. Install an indoor air filtration unit and make sure it has a HEPA filter. Though air pollution isn’t as bad in many rural areas as it is within the city, you can still undeniably benefit from filtering your air and eliminating any potential contaminants or toxins.
  • Sweep the Floors. Keeping the floors clean significantly reduces dust and allergen accumulation. Bear in mind that hardwood floors are much less difficult to maintain in an allergen-free state than carpets.
  • Use a Humidifier. Dry air from your home’s heating system can worsen COPD symptoms, as can air that is too moist. About 40% humidity inside the home is typically preferred for an individual with COPD.

COPD patients can breathe easier with the services of Visiting Angels’ specialized caregivers and our home care assistance that addresses:

  • Education about COPD disease management
  • Exercises to improve symptoms
  • Nutrition and dietary guidance
  • Psychosocial support
  • Skills to best contend with symptoms

Our professionally trained Fremont area home health care team will first identify individual service requirements and then develop a coordinated care plan in connection with a client’s medical professionals. Whether the need is for just a few hours each week to allow family caregivers to take a much-needed break, or if a senior requires full-time, 24-hour care – or anything in between – Visiting Angels is available to help with personalized in-home care. Call Visiting Angels today at 510-284-0000 to learn more about the ways in-home care can help.

Exploring the Difference Between Asthma and COPD | Sunnyvale Elder Care

November 22nd, 2016

Palo Alto Elder Care Unstoppable coughing. Shortness of breath. Wheezing. Sounds like an asthma attack, right? Before reaching for that inhaler or those OTC cough drops, though, it might be better to find out if another culprit – COPD – could be a factor. With a full 12 million people in the U.S. currently living with COPD (and just as many who probably have the disease but haven’t been diagnosed), it’s crucial for seniors with COPD-like symptoms to determine the cause behind the cough.

Take a look at some of the major differences between these two conditions:

Asthma:

  • Environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, dust, and pet hair can trigger asthmatic symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath.
  • Usually displays in patients in childhood, often by age 5.
  • Thought to be caused by genetics.

COPD:

  • Environmental triggers can exacerbate symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing, but these symptoms are often present in a milder form regardless of air quality.
  • Typically diagnosed after age 40.
  • Caused mainly by cigarette smoking (in up to 90% of all patients), or by secondhand exposure to air pollutants.

While medications available for both COPD and asthma are often similar – bronchodilators or inhaled steroids – their treatment plans usually differ. Those with asthma are urged to stay away from known triggers, such as limiting outside time when the pollen count is high and avoiding secondhand smoke. Those with COPD require a more intense approach, which may include prescribed oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation to maximize breathing capacity, and, most importantly, making sure they’re not smoking.

Of course, it’s important to visit the physician if you’re concerned that your senior loved one is suffering with any type of lung condition.

There’s currently no cure for either asthma or COPD; however, both conditions can be better managed when properly diagnosed and treated. Although COPD does cause permanent, irreversible damage to the lungs, with correct treatment, the progression of the disease can be slowed down, its symptoms made more manageable, and quality of life maximized.

Visiting Angels’ Sunnyvale elder care team is also available to provide assistance at home to help make a chronic condition easier to manage. Some of the many ways we can help include:

  • Light housework, to ensure as much dust as possible is removed from the home
  • Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and to pick up prescriptions
  • Encouragement and participation in physician-approved exercise programs
  • Planning and preparation of nutritious, delicious meals
  • Friendly, compassionate companionship
  • And much more

To help your senior loved one remain safe and healthy at home, contact Visiting Angels in Sunnyvale at (408) 735-0977 or in Fremont at 510-284-0000 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about elder care in the surrounding area.

California Home Care Services Team Explains COPD Diagnosis & Treatment

November 8th, 2016

California Home Care Services There are times when receiving a definitive diagnosis for debilitating symptoms is actually a relief. Suddenly, the condition has a name, and there’s a way to treat it! This is definitely true when it comes to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). If your senior loved one has been struggling with such symptoms as chronic coughing, wheezing, and fatigue, a diagnosis of COPD just might be the first step needed to improve her quality of life.

Here’s what you can expect from the senior’s physician when diagnosing COPD:

  • Assessment of the senior’s health and environment, to include smoking, exposure to pollutants, symptoms, and family health history
  • Testing such as spirometry (breathing into a machine to check lung functioning), x-rays and blood work
  • Creation of a treatment plan

Since the symptoms of COPD can differ widely from person to person, treatment plans are also not always the same. Here are some of the methods your senior loved one’s doctor may try to implement to help her best manage the disease:

  • Medications, to include any of the following:
    • Bronchodilators taken through an inhaler to help open airways, available in both short-term and long-term formulations, to work immediately as needed or to be taken ongoing for maintenance
    • Steroids and corticosteroids work to reduce inflammation, swelling and mucous production
    • Antibiotics to address any bacterial infections in the lungs
    • Immunizations to protect against flu and pneumonia, as those with COPD are at a greater risk for complications from these illnesses
  • Pulmonary therapy works to strengthen the lungs through guided exercise and nutrition.
  • Oxygen therapy, available through liquid or gas oxygen tanks or oxygen concentrators that utilize the oxygen already in the environment.
  • Lung surgery may be an option if symptoms are extremely severe.
  • Palliative care focuses treatment on improving quality of life, and is available to anyone diagnosed with COPD, regardless of the prognosis or stage of the disease.
  • Clinical trials help researchers determine the success of new, experimental treatments, regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Talk with your senior loved one’s physician to see if clinical trials are an option, and check the American Lung Association’s clinical trial search page for opportunities near you.

Regardless of the doctor’s recommended treatment plan to help improve life for your senior loved one with COPD, Visiting Angels’ California home care services team can help improve quality of life and ease COPD symptoms with supplemental in-home care. Whether the senior needs respectful assistance in performing personal care tasks such as bathing and getting dressed, help with light housework and meals, transportation, or just the kindness of a caring companion to talk to and engage in enjoyable activities together, our fully trained and experienced caregivers are here for you. Contact us in Sunnyvale at (408) 735-0977 or in Fremont at 510-284-0000 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.